A few weeks ago, I started to feed a tortoiseshell cat. I would see her on our back porch or come from underneath the neighbor’s house. She looked malnourished and would hiss and growl if you can come to her. Being the sucker I am for cats, I couldn’t just let her go without food so I started feeding here. She would eat and then run across the street and down the road. I thought that maybe she did have a home but just wanted to see what other people could offer her in ways of food. Well, two mornings ago, I open the door to fill the food bowl I keep outside and there the tortoiseshell cat was with three kittens; a ginger, a white and tan and one that looks a lot like Nefarian. The four of them are currently staying underneath our back porch. While I would love to keep them all, Mike says no so I am going to try to get them use to me and then find homes for them.
Nefarian has chronic UTIs — urinary tract infections — and since I have a hate for most veterinarians, I went searching for other options so we wouldn’t have to keep returning to the vets every month for antibiotics that just won’t work. During my search I found many wonderful tips to help keep his UTIs at bay, including giving him cranberry extract (which really does work).
One of things I found out is that cats are not big drinkers and usually don’t get enough water in their diet. And consuming the proper amount of water is key to stopping UTIs in their tracks. So we started to look for ways to increase Nefarian’s water intake. Most of the tips that I found were things we already do. They always have a bowl a fresh water in the kitchen and we add a bit of water to the bathtub because both him and Jedi like to drink water dripping from the bathtub faucet. They also mostly eat wet cat food but have a bit of hard cat food on the side.
One interesting tip I came across using catnip tea as a sorta treat for them that would also help up their water intake. Seeing how I already make my own tea from red clover, sage and various other herbs I grow, I was pretty excited to try it out for Nefarian and Jedi.
After trying it the first time and sharing the pictures on Facebook, I received many requests for the recipe. So I thought, why not write a blog post about it?
The entire process is easy peasy and fairly inexpensive. So far, I have made catnip tea 3 times for Nefarian and Jedi, and it has been a success every time. Keep in mind, however, that not all kitties react to catnip. Jedi is absolutely hooked on catnip and will only play with catnip-filled toys, while Nefarian enjoys licking his catnip kiss, drinking catnip tea and playing with catnip toys, he isn’t as “into” it as Jedi.
Catnip Tea Recipe
1 tablespoon of dried or fresh catnip
6 to 8 ounces of hot water
Tea strainer or tea basket
Step 1: Add your fresh or dried catnip to the basket or tea strainer. I have this cute little tea pot that has a built in basket. It works perfect for homemade loose leaf teas.
Step 2: Pour 6 to 8 ounces of hot — not boiling — water slowly over the catnip.
Step 3: Let the kitties inspect the process to ensure you are on the right track. This may or may not involve a paw.
Step 4: Let the tea sit for several hours. This might just be the hardest step. But Jedi is waiting somewhat patiently.
Step 5: Pour into bowls and enjoy!
Tips and Considerations: Make sure the tea is completely cooled before giving it to your kitties. You yourself can also consume some of the catnip tea. In fact, catnip tea has many health benefits for humans, including treating insomnia, anxiety and migraines.